The holidays are here and with that comes a lot of visits from family and friends, who we haven't seen in awhile.
The Girl Scouts are using the holiday season to urge parents not to force their daughters to hug or kiss relatives. They say it could give their children the wrong idea about consent and physical attention.
In "Reminder: She Doesn't Owe Anyone a Hug: Not Even at the Holidays," a post on the Girl Scouts website, the organization explains that by telling your child she owes someone a hug or kiss just because they haven't seen in awhile, or they were given a gift, could make her question whether she "owes" someone any type of physical attention when they do something nice for them, like buy them dinner.
"Have you ever insisted, “Uncle just got here—go give him a big hug!” or “Auntie gave you that nice toy, go give her a kiss,” when you were worried your child might not offer affection on her own? If yes, you might want to reconsider the urge to do that in the future," the PSA reads. "Think of it this way, telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she “owes” another person any type of physical affection when they’ve bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life."
The PSA suggests letting girls show affection in way that don't involve physical contact, like "saying how much she’s missed someone or thank you with a smile, a high-five, or even an air kiss."